WASHINGTONTobacco retailers continue to reduce sales to children under age 18, as mandated by federal law. Overall, the national violation rate fell to 16.3% in 2001 from 40.1% in 1996, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia achieved the 20% violation rate set for 2001 or a rate they had previously negotiated with the federal government. Wisconsin was the one state that failed to reach its violation target for the year, which was 22%. Wisconsin’s rate was 33.7%, and it agreed to commit an additional $3 million to increase its enforcement effort. The agreement spared Wisconsin stringent federal penalties.